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Mazda's B-Series truck rugged yet comfortable

Featuring ample power and strong towing capacity, the Mazda B-Series is built to haul up to 5,600 pounds, and with available four-wheel drive, it can handle the toughest off-highway terrain.

Yet, this rugged truck boasts a comfortable and refined cabin and looks just as good on the city's paved paths.

Available as a two-door Regular Cab or four-door, four-seat Cab Plus and with a choice of 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 4.0-liter V6 engine and two- or four-wheel-drive systems, the B-Series is sure to leave an impression on any surface. The Regular cab is only offered with the 2.3-liter engine and the 4×4 is only offered as a Cab Plus and offered with the 4.0-liter engine.

To better meet customer demands, the high-end B4000 Cab Plus SE model will be discontinued in the U.S. market.

The Mazda B-Series truck continues its value story in 2009 with a variety of standard features and an extensive options list, giving customers an opportunity to customize the truck to suit personal tastes. The 2009 B-Series truck remains largely unchanged.

The available automatic transmission in the 2009 Mazda B-Series is a sophisticated and smooth-shifting five-speed. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, which like all Mazdas, is designed for quick shifting to get the very best performance from the engine.

The entry model B2300's 2.3-liter double overhead cam (DOHC) 16-valve, four-cylinder engine produces a spirited 143 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 154 lb-ft of torque at 3,750 rpm. With the manual, the B2300 returns 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway (19/24 with 5-speed A/T).

Topping the line-up is the B4000. Its 4.0-liter V6 packs a mighty 207 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 238 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. It achieves city/highway fuel economy of 15/19 mpg (14/18 with 5-speed A/T). With this equipment, this powerhouse has a towing capacity of 5,600 pounds.

The powerful 4.0-liter engine is only offered on 4×4 models with a sophisticated 4×4 drive train, with shift-on-the-fly activation for go-anywhere ability. In vehicles with automatic transmissions, the driver simply presses a button on the dash to electronically engage 4×4 High. In trucks with manual transmission a simple lever does the job. 4×4 High can be activated at speeds up 25 mph.

All 4×4 B-Series trucks feature low-range gearing and automatic-locking front hubs for tackling steep hills and low traction situations like deep mud or snow.

With usability at the forefront of most truck designers' minds, driveability hardly gets a thought. But at Mazda things are different. Mazda's sports car heritage ensures that each Mazda is fun to drive — and that includes the B-Series.

Mazda B-Series trucks are fitted with an independent double-wishbone front suspension, which allows a great amount of wheel-travel for tough off-highway operation without sacrificing on-road feel or performance.

A leaf-spring set-up for the rear is tuned to provide a comfortable ride and great road handling without compromising the truck's core ability as a load carrier.

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, gas-filled shock absorbers and a front stabilizer bar are fitted on all models for sure on-road drivability and response as well as great off-highway durability.

In addition, all B-Series trucks feature power-assisted front ventilated disc brakes with rear drums. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are fitted as standard across the range to prevent wheel lockup and reduce stopping distances in certain conditions. These features, more commonly found in road cars than trucks, combine to ensure that the B-Series is a great drive.

The rugged good looks of the B-Series emphasize this truck's superb usability and all-round performance. The wide stance gives reassuring stability as well as a real sense of power, and the rounded corners and sculpted fenders add a sporty feel.

All B-Series models are superbly practical, offering standard cargo-bed tie-down hooks, and a wide range of options such as a cargo-bed extender, retractable tie-down hooks, tie-down loops and a soft tonneau cover.

Interior storage space is abundant and clever. Bins within the center console, center armrest and front doors are spacious, and a pair of cupholders are also positioned to be driver-friendly. Inside, a spacious 60/40 split-bench front seat is standard on all B-Series trucks. Base models have manual windows, door locks and an AM/FM two-speaker audio system

Cab Plus four-door models add extra storage in the rear doors and a pair of cupholders for rear passengers.

Mazda vehicles are designed with safety at the top of the agenda and the B-Series is certainly no exception. All B-Series models provide side-impact door beams in the front and dual front airbags. Front safety-belt pre-tensioners with force limiters, three-point safety belts for outboard seating positions and height-adjustable front shoulder-belt anchors are also standard.

All 2009 Mazdas come with a roadside assistance program. With a call to a toll-free number, owners can access roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. Also, all 2009 models receive a five-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.

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